If you have owned an Apple iPhone for long enough, you are sure to come across the error message “cannot verify server identity” when using mail applications on your iPhone. If you are searching for a solution on how to fix this issue, you will be pleased to know and this quick guide we will show you several methods which will hopefully and allow you to once again enjoy sending and receiving email without the dreaded error message showing.
One thing to keep in mind before you change lots of settings on your iPhone is that it may show to protect you from a fake mail server certificate. When connecting to a mail server, your iPhone will request the server’s SSL certificate and carry out several safety and security checks on it to make sure that it is legitimate.
If it finds that the certificate has expired, does not match the domain name for the email address or has not been signed correctly, it will be flagged as unreliable and your iPhone will display the cannot verify server identity error alerting you to this issue.
Most iPhone users will at some time receive this error as it is one of the most common issues because of the amount of emails we now send and receive. The error will normally appear when you are trying to set up a new email account. All the mail server certificate has expired or you are migrating your mail settings from one iPhone to another when you upgrade. If you are receiving it on a regular basis would like to fix the error a number of solutions are below.
Fix iPhone server identity errors
To correct the cannot verify server identity error, the first thing you should do is check that your iPhone is displaying the correct time and date and force quit the Mail application on your phone. To do this, simply swipe up from the bottom of your screen on the latest iPhones. This will display all the current applications you have running. Allowing you to scroll through them from left to right. Find the iPhone Mail app and swipe upwards to force close the application. Once closed, check the time and date on your iPhone is correct and reopen the Apple Mail application.
On older iPhone models equipped with a physical home button, simply go to the Home screen and swipe up, finding the application and close it as above. If you are using an iPhone 8 or earlier double click on the home button to view the most recently used apps, once again navigate to the Mail app and swipe up. A majority of the time, this is all that is needed to correct the issue, but if it persists, we have a few more things you can try.
Force restart your iPhone
Before you fiddle with any mail settings on your phone, it is worth carrying out a force restart of your iPhone covered in our previous article, just to make sure that everything is running cleanly and the operating system is not causing any issues. Once you force restart your iPhone, it is like rebooting your computer and everything will freshly load without the loss of any data.
Update your carrier Settings
Another useful maintenance tip to correct any issues you may experience with your iPhone is to update your iPhone carrier settings, which we have also covered in this handy guide. It is also worth making sure that your phone’s operating system is also up-to-date by downloading the latest iOS update from Apple. This can be done simply by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Turning on Automatic Updates will help your device keep up-to-date in the future automatically.
Reset your phone’s network settings
Another area that may cause issues on your iPhone is its network settings, which can be easily refreshed by following the instructions below. Carrying out this procedure will reset any Wi-Fi networks and passwords, cellular settings, and VPN and APN settings that you’ve used before.
1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone
2. Then tap “General”
3. Scroll to the bottom of the General screen and tap “Transfer or Reset iPhone”
4. Tap “Reset” at the bottom of the screen
5. Tap “Reset Network Settings”
If you’re using iOS or iPadOS 14 or earlier, tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
Check out the video below for a few quick methods of correcting the issue on your iPhone
Remove the email account
If after completing the steps above you are still experiencing the cannot verify server identity error on your iPhone, it may be worth deleting and removing the mail account and setting it up once again from scratch on your iPhone. To do this, simply follow the instructions below for the latest iOS release.
1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone
2. Scroll down until you see the “Mail” app options and tap to enter
3. Tap the “Accounts” section with Mail. This will list all your current email account set up on your iPhone
4. Select the offending Mail account and tap to enter its settings
5. Press the “Delete Account” button at the bottom to remove the mail account. Before you do this, make sure that you have backed up all your emails if they are downloaded locally to your iPhone. If you use IMAP, which many servers do your emails will be safely stored on the server waiting for you to read to connect.
6. Confirm you would like to delete the email account from your iPhone by pressing “Delete from My iPhone”
7. Return to the Settings > Mail > Accounts section and press “Add Account”
8. Follow the instructions provided by Apple to enter your email account details by selecting your email provider.
Unfortunately, if you have multiple email accounts all showing the same cannot verify server identity error you may need to delete everything and start again from scratch, setting up each individual email account after you have deleted them all.
If you are still experiencing issues after completing all the above, then it might be worth contacting Apple directly and setting up a Genius Bar appointment or contacting them via their Apple Support website.